Florida Hearing Matters - Fort Lauderdale, FL

Woman improving her life expectancy by wearing hearing aids and working out is outside on a pier.

Most people just accept hearing loss as a part of growing old like gray hair or reading glasses. But a study from Duke-NUS Medical School reveals a link between total health and hearing loss.

Senior citizens with hearing or vision loss frequently struggle more with depression, cognitive decline, and communication problems. That’s something you may already have read about. But did you realize that hearing loss is also connected to shorter life expectancy?

People who have neglected hearing loss, according to this research, might actually have a shorter lifespan. What’s more, they found that if untreated hearing loss happened with vision impairments it almost doubles the likelihood that they will have a hard time with activities necessary for day-to-day living. It’s a problem that is both a physical and a quality of life concern.

While this may sound like sad news, there is a positive spin: hearing loss, for older adults, can be treated through a variety of methods. More significantly, serious health concerns can be revealed if you get a hearing exam which could encourage you to lengthen your life expectancy by paying more attention to your health.

What’s The Link Between Hearing Loss And Poor Health?

Research certainly shows a link but the exact cause and effect isn’t well understood.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins note that seniors with hearing loss had a tendency to have other issues, {likesuch as} high rates of smoking, greater chance of heart disease, and stroke.

When you know what the causes of hearing loss are, these results make more sense. Many instances of hearing loss and tinnitus are linked to heart disease since high blood pressure impacts the blood vessels in the ear canal. When the blood vessels are shrunken – which can be due to smoking – the body has to work harder to push the blood through which results in high blood pressure. High blood pressure in older adults who have hearing impairment often causes them to hear a whooshing noise in their ears.

Hearing loss has also been connected to Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other forms of cognitive decline. There are numerous reasons for the two to be connected according to health professionals and hearing specialists: for one, the brain has to work overtime to differentiate words in a conversation, which taps out the brain’s ability to do anything else. In other cases, lots of people with hearing loss tend to be less social, frequently because of the difficulty they have communicating. There can be a serious impact on a person’s mental health from social separation leading to depression and anxiety.

How Older Adults Can Manage Hearing Loss

There are several options available to manage hearing loss in older adults, but as the studies show, the smartest thing to do is deal with the problem as soon as you can before it has more extreme consequences.

Hearing aids are one form of treatment that can work wonders in fighting your hearing loss. There are numerous different styles of hearing aids available, including small, discreet models that connect with Bluetooth technology. What’s more, hearing aid technology has been enhancing basic quality-of-life challenges. For instance, they filter out background sound much better than older models and can be connected to cell phones, TVs, and computers to let you hear better during the entertainment.

Older adults can also go to a nutritionist or consult with their doctor about changes to their diet to help stop additional hearing loss. There are connections between iron deficiency anemia and hearing loss, for instance, which can often be treated by increasing the iron content in your diet. Changes to your diet could also positively impact other health conditions, resulting in an overall more healthy lifestyle.

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